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Once an Aussie icon, Mark Coutelas is seeing the 'dark side' on Phuket

Aussie Prisoner's Past as Soft Drink Hero Reveals Phuket's Dark Side

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
PHUKET: An iconic television advertisment from 30 years ago has led to a spate of negative coverage for Phuket in the Australian media today.

The past of Mark Robert Coutelas, an Aussie serving time in Phuket Prison, was exposed this evening on television and in the tabloid press.

The arrest of Coutelas was reported fully in Phuketwan last year. What we didn't disclose was that he played the ''Solo Man'' in a popular soft drink television ad of the 1980s that was still appearing as late as 1990.

Australia's Channel 7 and the Daily Mail served up a slice of the distant past today in their news coverage, with Coutelas being quoted as saying: ''I like to live on the dark side . . . some people do. Phuket is perfect for that.''

The television news segment was accompanied by photos of the Aussie's bawdy lifestyle and Soi Bangla, where underdressed go-go dancers now cavort openly in public. Once, they were kept behind closed doors.

The ''Solo Man'' ad showed Coutelas riding a kayak downstream in a steamy jungle, surviving the challenge and quenching his thirst with the soft drink.

His tastes have changed since and he was busted for drugs around this time last year.

He may be out before 2016 but the spate of publicity is likely to mean the disappearance of any chance he may have had of returning to ''the dark side'' on Phuket soon.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


"phuket is perfect for that"

Well, apparently not THAT perfect since he is in prison for those same "dark side" activities.

Posted by christian on June 24, 2015 19:56

Editor Comment:

Possession of drugs and weapons will get you jail time in most places. If you get caught.


What a joke! As I recall, he was busted with a large amount of drugs which he was selling himself, and he's going to be out of jail by 2016? How can that possibly be? Drug dealing should be at least a 10-year sentence, otherwise given the profits to be made, where's the deterrent if you only get a year in jail?

Posted by Anti-Drugs on June 24, 2015 20:31

Editor Comment:

One of the problems with having an overcrowded jail is the shortage of room. That has to contribute to time off for good behavior.


Forget being locked up for the drugs, he should have been incarcerated for those Solo adds decades ago.

Posted by Anti Solo on June 24, 2015 20:49


Like the commercial I see he still likes to negotiate dangerous waters & survive new challenges guess he cant dip into the esky (can cooler box)for a solo can at will in his present environment.

Posted by slickmelb on June 24, 2015 22:08


The guy I trust the most looks like a "homeless" person, but he backed his handshake (with me) on 10% of a company, and I was the beneficiary, if only on paper at this point.

I have learned the hard way - some of the sweetest faces are not the sweetest people, and vice versa.

Posted by farang888 on June 24, 2015 22:21


"The television news segment was accompanied by photos of the Aussie's bawdy lifestyle and Soi Bangla, where underdressed go-go dancers now cavort openly in public. Once, they were kept behind closed doors."

Absolute rubbish , the contrary is now true since the military took over!

Posted by Chob on June 25, 2015 09:54

Editor Comment:

Next you'll be trying to tell us there are no ping-pong shows or touts, Chob.


Mark is not having a fun time in jail. He is one of the most hated and trouble making foreign prisoners in Phuket Prison. Sadly i met Mark whilst i was in that hellhole. He is quite a sad specimen of a man now days. He struggles just to walk and coming off steroids in his first few weeks inside nearly killed him. He is half the size of the man in the pics.
Before his most recent arrest he was deported from Thailand but after a few days in Sydney he turned around and went right back to Phuket.
He is a sad, strange and very delusional character. He is where he probably deserves to be and the hope would be that he sees the light from this experience but i fear he will not.

Posted by Anonymous on July 2, 2015 00:48

Saturday April 13, 2024
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